Who doesn’t love the holiday season? The twinkling lights, the holiday music, the cheesy holiday movies. There’s so much to enjoy! For most people, the holiday celebrations also revolve around festive foods and big family meals. While these gatherings are usually full of cheer, they can be stressful if you’re losing weight and sticking to a healthy eating plan.
You might think it’s impossible to navigate the holiday season while staying healthy, but it’s not! You can still enjoy your favourite festive foods and mealtimes with family. Here are six tips to help you stick to your healthy eating plan while not depriving yourself of your favourite holiday foods.
- Avoid drinking your calories: The easiest way to stick to your healthy eating plan is to avoid high calorie holiday drinks, such as juice, hot chocolate, apple cider, lattes, and alcohol. If plain water isn’t appealing, find an herbal tea you love and stock up for next gathering. Drink it in a fun and festive mug to raise your spirits and spread some holiday cheer.
- Eat a healthy snack before the party: The easiest way to avoid overindulging in tempting holiday desserts and snacks is to eat a small healthy meal before your gathering. Try a snack like sliced veggies with of dip or fruit with a tablespoon of nut butter. If you’re already satiated, the sugary cookies and cakes will be easier to resist.
- Don’t skip meals: Sometimes people want to save all their calories for the big holiday dinner, and they starve all day so they can overindulge in turkey and stuffing. This strategy will only make you feel sick, and you’ll end up eating more calories than planned because you were so hungry. Maintain your normal eating habits instead of starving yourself before your holiday meal, and you’ll find it easier to avoid overeating during the big dinner.
- Remember portion sizes: It’s okay to eat festive foods you normally wouldn’t indulge in, just remember your portion sizes. For example, a single serving of turkey should be about the size of a deck of cards; a serving pasta or vegetables should be the size of a baseball; and a serving of rice should be about the size of your fist.
- Plan what you want to eat: What foods are you looking forward to most? Holiday meals tend to have a huge assortment of foods to choose from, which can feel overwhelming. Create a plan before your holiday gathering and stick to it. If you’re most looking forward to turkey, stuffing, and a slice of pie, put those on your plate and avoid the pastas, cookies, and cakes that weren’t part of your plan.
- Don’t deprive yourself: It’s okay to indulge during a special occasion. A single day where your calorie intake was a little bit higher than normal won’t ruin your overall weight loss plan. If you really want one of your favourite holiday treats, enjoy and savour it. You can still stick to your goals and enjoy a small handful of treats during the holiday season.
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